- Big Biotech Sues Little Island of Kaua’i Over GMO Law (Waking Times, Jan 14, 2014):
As was expected, Big Biotech’s legal juggernaut has rolled into action in Hawai’i. On Friday afternoon, three big agrochemical companies—Pioneer-DuPont, Syngenta and Agrigenetics Inc. (a subsidiary of Dow Chemical)—filed a suit in a federal court in Honolulu seeking to block Kaua’i County’s new genetically modified organism (GMO) regulatory law. Two other big agribusiness concerns on the island that will be affected by the law—Kaua’i Coffee and BASF—haven’t joined the suit.The law, Ordinance 960 (formerly known as Bill 2491), was passed in November after surviving a veto by Kaua’i Mayor Barnard Carvalho. It requires agricultural companies and large farms to disclose the type and volume of pesticides they are spraying and the location of their genetically modified crop fields. It also requires the companies to set up buffer zones between fields growing GM crops and public places like schools, hospitals and parks. The law is scheduled to go into effect Aug. 16.
A similar regulatory bill was introduced on the island of Maui in December, just days after the mayor of Hawai’i Island, Billy Kenoi, signed into law a bill restricting biotech companies and farmers from growing any new genetically modified crops on that island.
The group of investors includes The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation, and the Government of Norway.
- Bill Gates and GMO Cronies Plan $30 Million Seed Vault While Poisoning the Planet (Waking Times, July 3, 2013):
Bill Gates has been listed by Forbes as one of the world’s richest men, so when he makes plans to do something, people take note. Bill’s Microsoft money allowed him to build the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with a huge $34.6 billion endowment and the ability to spend more than $1.5 billion annually on ‘charitable’ expenditures. This is partially what allows them to maintain a tax-free, charitable organization status. Warren Buffet has gifted him shares of Berkshire Hathaway to the tune of $30 billion. The Gates have more money than entire nations. Their budget is bigger than the entire yearly budget for the World Health Organization overseen by the United Nations.
Some of that ‘hard earned’ money is going into a new project, and it isn’t to build schools in Africa, to reduce poverty in urban cities in the US, or to build new infrastructure like solar powered city lights. Bill Gates is spending $30 million in a remote place called Svalbard, a barren rock near the Barents Sea about 1,100 kilometers from the North Pole to build a seed bank.
Along with him, pals from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Monsanto corporation, the Government of Norway, the Syngenta Foundation, and others are building a ‘doomsday seed bank’ officially named the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard island group.
This explanation of their modus operandi comes from their website directly: Continue reading »
Tags: Bill Gates, Doomsday Ark, Doomsday seed vault, Economy, Environment, Food, Gates Foundation, Genetically Modified Organisms, Global News, GMO, Monsanto, Norway, Rockefeller, Seed vault, Seeds, Svalbard, Syngenta
It’s criminal, but ”free the fields” actions are exactly how GMOs have been kept in check in Europe.
- Genetically engineered sugar beets destroyed in southern Oregon (OregonLive, June 20, 2013):
Federal investigators are asking the public to help solve middle-of-the-night crimes that left ruined fields of genetically engineered sugar beets in rural Jackson County.
The crop destruction took place over the course of two separate nights in early June, when an unknown individual or group destroyed about 6,500 sugar beet plants genetically engineered to stand up to the herbicide Roundup on a pair of privately-owned plots of land leased and managed by Syngenta.
A version of this article appeared in print on June 4, 2013, on page B4 of the New York edition with the headline: Connecticut Approves Genetic Labeling.
- Connecticut Approves Labeling Genetically Modified Foods (New York Times, June 3, 2013):
Connecticut on Monday became the first state to pass a bill that would require food manufacturers to label products that contain genetically modified ingredients — but only after other conditions are met.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said he would sign the bill into law, after reaching an agreement with the legislature to include a provision that the law would not take effect unless four other states, at least one of which shares a border with Connecticut, passed similar regulations.
The Connecticut bill also hinges on those states including Northeastern states with a total population of at least 20 million.
“This bill strikes an important balance by ensuring the consumers’ right to know what is in their food while shielding our small businesses from liability that could leave them at a competitive disadvantage,” Mr. Malloy said in a statement issued over the weekend after negotiations on the necessary provisions.
The legislature passed the bill on Monday, 134 to 3.
YouTube Added: 23.05.2013
The world’s leading Scientists, Physicians, Attorneys, Politicians and Environmental Activists expose the corruption and dangers surrounding the widespread use of Genetically Modified Organisms in the new feature length documentary, “Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs”.
Senior Executive Producer / Writer / Director: Gary Null PhD
Executive Producer/Writer/Co-Director: Richard Polonetsky
Producers: Paola Bossola, Richard Gale, James Spruill, Patrick Thompson, Valerie Van Cleve
Editors: James Spruill, Patrick Thompson, Richie Williamson, Nick Palm
Music: Kevin MacLeod (Incompetech.com), Armando Guarnera
Graphics: Jay Graygor
Tags: Agriculture, Cancer, Corruption, Documentary, Environment, Gary Null, Genetically Modified Organisms, Global News, Glyphosate, GMO, Government, Health, Law, Medicine, Monsanto, Percy Schmeiser, Pioneer, Politics, Roundup, Roundup Ready, Science, Seeds, Society, Syngenta, U.S., Vandana Shiva
- GMO and the Corporate Patenting of Living Organisms: Monsanto’s Patents on Life (Global Research, March 1, 2013):
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments in a seed patent infringement case that pits a small farmer from Indiana, 75-year old Vernon Hugh Bowman, against biotech goliath Monsanto. Reporters from the New York Times to the Sacramento Bee dissected the legal arguments. They speculated on the odds. They opined on the impact a Monsanto loss might have, not only on genetically modified crops, but on medical research and software.
What most of them didn’t report on is the absurdity – and the danger – of allowing companies to patent living organisms in the first place, and then use those patents to attempt to monopolize world seed and food production.
The case boils down to this. Monsanto sells its patented genetically engineered (GE) “Roundup Ready” soybean seeds to farmers under a contract that prohibits the farmers from saving the next-generation seeds and replanting them. Farmers like Mr. Bowman who buy Monsanto’s GE seeds are required to buy new seeds every year. For years, Mr. Bowman played by Monsanto’s rules. Then in 2007, he bought an unmarked mix of soybeans from a grain elevator and planted them. Some of the soybeans turned out to have been grown from Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready soybean seeds. Monsanto sued Mr. Bowman, won, and the court ordered the farmer to pay the company $84,000. Mr. Bowman appealed, arguing that he unknowingly bought soybeans grown from Monsanto’s seeds, not the seeds themselves, and that therefore the law of “patent exhaustion” applies.
The press and public have fixated on the sticky legal details of the case, and the classic David vs. Goliath nature of the fight. But win or lose, Mr. Bowman’s predicament is part of a much bigger problem.
YouTube Added: 04.11.2012
Monsanto, DuPont and the other biotech company’s biggest marketing myth about GMOs is that they are going to feed the world…the opposite is true.
At a conference filled with experts on world hunger and agriculture, I asked the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack a question about GMOs. When he suggested that GMOs were needed to feed the world, the audience began hissing and booing him.
Enjoy this excerpt from our full length documentary Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives http://geneticroulettemovie.com.
- DOJ Mysteriously Quits Monsanto Antitrust Investigation (Mother Jones, Dec, 1, 2012):
There’s an age-old tradition in Washington of making unpopular announcements when no one’s listening—like, you know, the days leading up to Thanksgiving. That’s when the Obama administration sneaked a tasty dish to the genetically modified seed/pesticide industry.This treat involves the unceremonious end of the Department of Justice’s antitrust investigation into possible anticompetitive practices in the US seed market, which it had begun in January 2010. It’s not hard to see why DOJ would take a look. For the the crops that cover the bulk of US farmland like corn, soy, and cotton, the seed trade is essentially dominated by five companies: Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer, and Dow. And a single company, Monsanto, supplies nearly all genetically modified traits now so commonly used in those crops, which it licenses to its rivals for sale in their own seeds.
What’s harder to figure out is why the DOJ ended the investigation without taking any action—and did so with a near-complete lack of public information. The DOJ didn’t even see fit to mark the investigation’s end with a press release. News of it emerged from a brief item Monsanto itself issued the Friday before Thanksgiving, declaring it had “received written notification” from the DOJ antitrust division that it had ended its investigation “without taking any enforcement action.”
- Millions of GMO Mosquitoes Released Without Risk Assessment or Oversight (Farm Wars, Nov 8, 2012):
Look out people of planet earth, genetically engineered bugs are here. Just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, our technocracy is working ever diligently on genetically engineering every last living cell on the planet – WITHOUT EXCEPTION. What does this mean for life here on earth? Ever hear the expression “soup sandwich?” Well, after these “scientific” geniuses are through with us, that is exactly what all life will be – a genetic soup sandwich, made in a lab, and stamped with a corporate logo embedded in our DNA.
If the following report from Testbiotech doesn’t send chills up your spine, I don’t know what will. Get ready world, because nothing will ever be the same. Ever. There is no remediation technique available to clean up genetically engineered mutations released into the wild and spread through horizontal gene transfer. Continue reading »
- Busted: Biotech Leader ‘Syngenta’ Charged Over Covering Up Animal Deaths from GM Corn (Natural Society, June 15, 2012):
In a riveting victory against genetically modified creations, a major biotech company known as Syngenta has been criminally charged for denying knowledge that its GM Bt corn actually kills livestock. What’s more is not only did the company deny this fact, but they did so in a civil court case that ended back in 2007. The charges were finally issued after a long legal struggle against the mega corp initiated by a German farmer named Gottfried Gloeckner whose dairy cattle died after eating the Bt toxin and coming down with a ‘mysterious’ illness.
Grown on his own farm from 1997 to 2002, the cows on the farm were all being fed exclusively on Syngenta’s Bt 176 corn by the year 2000. It was around this time that the mysterious illnesses began to emerge among the cattle population. Syngenta paid Gloeckner 40,000 euros in an effort to silence the farmer, however a civil lawsuit was brought upon the company. Amazingly, 2 cows ate genetically modified maize (now banned in Poland over serious concerns) and died. During the civil lawsuit, however, Syngenta refused to admit that its GM corn was responsible. In fact, they went as far as to claim having no knowledge whatsoever of harm.
- France bans Syngenta pesticide linked to bee decline (Farmers Weekly, June 8, 2012):
The French government has banned a pesticide linked to the decline of bees that is widely used to treat oilseed rape.
Cruiser OSR, which contains the neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam, was banned for use on oilseed rape by the French Ministry of Agriculture.
Made by the Swiss agrichemical company Syngenta, Cruiser OSR is a seed treatment, which is coated onto the rape seeds.
The decision to ban Cruiser follows two studies earlier this year, in the UK and France, which found evidence that neonicotinoids contain chemicals that disorientate bees and prevent them from finding their way back to hives, causing colony collapse disorder.
- White House blocking release of Monsanto-linked lobbyist’s email (Activist Post, Feb. 22, 2012):
The Obama administration is now blocking a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by an environmental group, Public Employees for Environment Responsibility (PEER), which is attempting to uncover Obama’s connections to Monsanto-linked lobbyists.
Keep in mind, Monsanto’s products have been linked to some horrific effects on biological systems like the human body, not the least of which is creating necrosis and significant mutations in critical cell types.
Also quite noteworthy is the fact that Monsanto was actually recently found guilty of chemical poisoning in the case of a French farmer.
I wasn’t aware that these videos were uploaded on YouTube, or else I would have posted them a long time ago.
YouTube Added: 17.12.2010
Here is another upload:
Raised on a wildlife reserve in Alaska, 15-year-old Garrett was interested in the dietary habits of the farm animals. After the tragic death of his mother, Garrett’s father decided to home-school his son and assigned a book written by Dr. Max Gerson that proposed a direct link between diet and a cure for cancer.
Fascinated, Garrett embarks in this documentary on a cross-country road trip to investigate The Gerson Therapy. He meets with scientists, doctors and cancer survivors who reveal how it is in the best interest of the multi-billion dollar medical industry to dismiss the notion of alternative and natural cures.
The Gerson Therapy:
Tags: Amalgam, American Cancer Society, Aspartame, Big Pharma, Cancer, Corporations, Depleted uranium, Doctors, Documentary, Donald Rumsfeld, Dr. Russell Blaylock, DuPont, Excitotoxins, Fluor, Fluoridation, Fluoride, Food, Gerson Therapy, GMO, Good News, Health, Irradiation, Medicine, Mercury, Middle East, Monsanto, MSG, Neuroscience, neurotoxic, neurotoxicity, Obesity, Pharmaceutical Industry, Pioneer, Rockefeller, Root canals, Science, Society, Syngenta, toxicity, Toxins, Vaccination, Vaccine
YouTube Added: 02.07.2011
… Control oil, and you control nations. Control food, and you control people. Radio Interview with William Engdahl
Tags: 9/11, Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Bilderberg, Bill Gates, Bush administration, Congress, Dick Cheney, Dictatorship, Economy, Education, Environment, Fascism, Food, Genetically Modified Organisms, George Bush, George Soros, Global News, GMO, Government, Health, Henry Paulson, Iraq, Medicine, Middle East, Monsanto, New World Order, Obama administration, Pakistan, Police State, Politics, Rockefeller, Rothschild, Roundup, Roundup Ready, Saddam Hussein, Society, Syngenta, Technology, Terrorism, Terrorists, U.S., Warren Buffett
- Attack of the Monsanto Superinsects (Mother Jones, Aug. 30, 2011):
Over the past decade and a half, as Monsanto built up its globe-spanning, multi-billion-dollar genetically modified seed empire, it made two major pitches to farmers.
- Confirmed: Thailand’s “Pro-Democracy” Movement Working for US (Activist Post, August 13, 2011):
Thailand’s “Red Shirts” boast of NED, Fortune 500 Washington D.C. Visit
Bangkok, Thailand, August 13, 2011 – While it is well established that Thailand’s “red shirt” street mob is working on behalf of globalist-stooge Thaksin Shinawatra who in turn is backed by some of the United States’ largest lobbying firms, most influential politicians, and most powerful corporate-financier interests, it is now confirmed that key leaders within the “red shirt” movement or United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) have met with Soros’ Open Society-funded Human Rights Watch, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and the U.S. – ASEAN Business Council in an April 2011 Washington D.C. visit.
Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand’s prime minister from 2001 until a military coup removed him in 2006, was a former Carlyle Group adviser and was literally reporting to the globalist Council on Foreign Relations in New York City on the eve of his ousting from power. While in office, Thaksin attempted to ramrod through the US-Thailand Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) without parliamentary approval, a 2004 FTA backed by the exact same US-ASEAN Business Council recently visited by UDD leaders in April of 2011.
Image: The US-ASEAN Business Council, a who’s-who of corporate fascism in the US, has been approached by Thailand’s “pro-democracy” UDD for support. The UDD never fully explains what corporations like Exxon, BP, Goldman Sachs, Monsanto, or other banes to humanity have to do with democracy or what sort of support was asked for or promised. (click image to enlarge)The council in 2004 included 3M, war profiteering Bechtel, Boeing, Cargill, Citigroup, General Electric, IBM, the notorious Monsanto, and currently also includes the criminal banksters of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Chevron, Exxon, BP, Glaxo Smith Kline, Merck, Northrop Grumman, Monsanto’s GMO doppelganger Syngenta, and Phillip Morris. Admittedly, these corporations are more synonymous with mass murder, mass corruption, corporate fascism, crony-capitalism, warmongering, lies, deceit and all the other ugly aspects that truly define “globalization,” than they are with any tenant of “liberal democracy.”
Tags: Bechtel, Cargill, CFR, Citigroup, Council on Foreign Relations, Economy, General Electric, Global News, Government, IBM, Monsanto, New World Order, Philip Morris, Politics, Society, Syngenta, Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, U.S.
Companies that genetically engineer crops have a lock on what we know about their safety and benefits.
Soybeans, corn, cotton and canola — most of the acres planted in these crops in the United States are genetically altered. “Transgenic” seeds reduce the use of some insecticides. But herbicide use is higher, and respected experts argue that some genetically engineered crops may also pose serious health and environmental risks. The benefits of genetically engineered crops may be overstated.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, February 17, 2011 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 19 Editorial Desk 1 inches; 32 words Type of Material: Correction
Seeds: In a Feb. 13 Op-Ed about seed-company barriers to independent research on genetically modified crops, the owner of the seed company Pioneer was incorrectly identified as Dow Chemical. DuPont owns Pioneer.
We don’t have the complete picture. That’s no accident. Multibillion-dollar agricultural corporations, including Monsanto and Syngenta, have restricted independent research on their genetically engineered crops. They have often refused to provide independent scientists with seeds, or they’ve set restrictive conditions that severely limit research options.
This is legal. Under U.S. law, genetically engineered crops are patentable inventions. Companies have broad power over the use of any patented product, including who can study it and how.
Agricultural companies defend their stonewalling by saying that unrestricted research could make them vulnerable to lawsuits if an experiment somehow leads to harm, or that it could give competitors unfair insight into their products. But it’s likely that the companies fear something else as well: An experiment could reveal that a genetically engineered product is hazardous or doesn’t perform as promised.
… or else:
Enjoy US GM cuisine without fear?
Far more Europeans, than Americans, are aware of the fact that GM food alters the DNA, changes brain waves, destroys the immune system, the organs and makes people infertile.
And when travelling to the US, to enjoy that GM junk cuisine, Europeans have the choice to get either radiated or sexually assaulted by the TSA.
At least 80 percent of ‘food’ in the supermarkets is contaminated with GMOs in the US, with no labeling required, although the vast majority of Americans wants it, because this would make Americans insecure, says the US government.
These are all good reasons to pay the land of the free a visit, where the rule of law has no meaning anymore, right?
Europeans know exactly that the elite plans to turn the EU into one Big Brother, fascist police state, feeding its citizens GM junk, adding mind-control chemicals into the water that make people docile and infertile like in the US, where 70% of the drinking water is fluoridated.
Hitler and Stalin did that in their concentration camps and gulags.
Wake up America and Europe stay awake!
And Mrs. Sapiro …
BRUSSELS – A top US trade official said she will bang down the door of the European Commission Thursday in a bid to break a long-standing impasse blocking the march of genetically-modified foods.
“When Europeans come to the United States, they come and enjoy our cuisine without any fears,” Deputy US Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro told an audience of policymakers in Brussels ahead of talks with European Union trade commissioner Karel De Gucht’s senior officials.
“Why should we have different standards in Europe? That alone is a reason to change position.
“I will be raising that issue today — it is important to address, and to continue to press the commission to go the right way. Decisions on GM foods need to be science-based,” she insisted, underlining her confidence in US safety standards.
A day earlier, a committee of experts from the 27 EU states pushed back a commission proposal to lift import restrictions on animal foodstuffs containing traces of GM crops, up to a certain threshold, due to opposition from France and Poland.
Similarly, intra-EU divisions meant authorisation for growing was not granted for three new strains of GM maize and one of GM cotton, marketed by Syngenta and US giant Dow AgroSciences, although the commission will try again on March 1.
This year, your bread dishes are probably not genetically modified — consumer and food industry opposition has so far prevented any GM wheat from making it to your table. So your biscuits, thickened gravy and turkey stuffing are made with flour from traditionally bred wheat.
But several seed companies, including Monsanto, Syngenta, BASF and others, are working on transgenic wheat. U.S. Wheat Associates, an industry group, said in early 2010 that GM wheat is still several years away, but efforts are ongoing to improve its acceptance among international consumers.
Monsanto Co., the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seed, backed off commercialization of “Roundup Ready” wheat several years ago, amid concerns it could hurt the U.S. wheat market. But earlier this month, the firm said it’s the “right time” to pursue development of drought-resistant and high-yielding wheat.
An official public consultation into genetically modified food has been thrown into chaos following protests that it has been rigged.
The exercise by the Food Standards Agency could now be axed following the resignation of two leading advisers working on it.
The two academics said they were not prepared to support a proposal that would spend £500,000 of public money on a spin exercise to promote so-called ‘Frankenstein Food’.
They argued the money would be better spent on schools and hospitals rather than boosting the interests of GM companies such as Monsanto and Syngenta.
Ministers in the coalition Government are believed to be ready to kill off the idea in a move against Whitehall waste.
The GM consultation plan was ordered by the old Labour government in what critics believe was a last ditch effort to overturn consumer opposition to the technology.
Ministers even appointed Lord Rooker, the former Labour minister Jeff Rooker and a self-avowed advocate of GM farming, to the post of FSA chairman to oversee the process.
The FSA, which has a history of supporting GM technology, made great play of claims that the consultation would be independent. However, two advisers who sit on the steering group overseeing the proposal have stepped down claiming it is biased in favour of GM.
They include the vice chairman, Professor Brian Wynne, a sociologist at Lancaster University.
He is the country’s leading expert on public engagement with science and has also advised House of Lords and EU committees.
Dr Helen Wallace, who is the director of Genewatch UK and a long time critic of GM, has also stepped down.
Dr Wallace said: ‘This is a worst case example of dirty politics where vested interests are paid to dupe the public using public money.
‘Taxpayers will be shocked to learn that a former minister still has his fingers in their pockets long after the New Labour government is dead.
‘This money should be spent on schools or hospitals, not reputation management for Monsanto and other GM companies.’
Professor Wynne added that it appeared the FSA had been ordered to conduct the GM exercise after the biotech industry lobbied the last government-In a letter of resignation-he complained that the planned consultation had turned out to be little more than propaganda.
He accused the FSA of having adopted a ‘dogmatically entrenched’ pro-GM position.
“Atrazine can’t be sprayed in Europe because it contaminates groundwater, but it remains widely used in the U.S., where the EPA endorsed its continued use as recently as 2006, based on a scientific review from 2003. Federal records show the review was heavily influenced by industry and relied on studies financed by Syngenta, a Swiss-based company that manufactures most of the atrazine sprayed in the U.S.”
Alarmed by latest research, the Obama administration is conducting a broad review of toxic weed killer atrazine that could lead to tighter restrictions
Despite growing health concerns about atrazine, an agricultural weedkiller sprayed on farm fields across the Midwest, most drinking water is tested for the chemical only four times a year — so rarely that worrisome spikes of the chemical likely go undetected.
High levels of the herbicide can linger in tap water during the growing season, according to more frequent tests in some agricultural communities.
Spread heaviest on cornfields, atrazine is one of the most commonly detected contaminants in drinking water. Studies have found that exposure to small amounts of the chemical can turn male frogs into females and might be more harmful to humans than once thought. Continue reading »
And I thought Monsanto had it good in the Bush Administration. But it turns out that Big Ag is never lonely, no matter who’s in control.
Not only has Obama already installed Roger Beachy, a former Monsanto big wig, in charge of policy at the USDA, but CropLife is an equal opportunity corrupter that is hedging its bets in the coming election. In fact, 66 percent of the campaign funds they’ve donated in this election season so far went to Democrats, an increase of about 10 percent over 2008.
Furthermore, Siddiqui gave the maximum individual donation to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, though not until it was kind of obvious who was going to win. Not that things would be any different if he hadn’t, though. CropLife President Jay Vroom gave the maximum amount to Republican presidential candidate John McCain around that same time in the campaign.
- Obama Gives ‘Pesticide Lobbyist’ Post as Chief Agricultural Negotiator (Huffington Post)
The following article is highly recommended!
“Washington lobbyists haven’t funded my campaign, they won’t run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of working Americans when I am president”.
- Barack Obama
Today, President Obama announced that he will recess appoint Islam A. Siddiqui to the position of Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Siddiqui is a pesticide lobbyist and Vice President for Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America, an agribusiness lobbying group that represents Monsanto.
Following is a letter sent by 98 organizations to U.S. Senators in opposition to Siddiqui’s appointment, and a fact sheet about him.
The following 98 organizations are writing you to express our opposition to the nomination of Islam Siddiqui as Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the office of the United States Trade Representative. Our organizations- representing family farmers, farmworkers, fishers and sustainable agriculture, environmental, consumer, anti-hunger and other advocacy groups-urge you to reject Dr. Siddiqui’s appointment when it comes up for a floor vote, despite the Senate Finance Committee’s favorable report of his nomination on December 23, 2009.
Siddiqui’s record at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and his role as a former registered lobbyist for CropLife America (whose members include Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow), has revealed him to consistently favor agribusinesses’ interests over the interests of consumers, the environment and public health (see attached fact sheet). We believe Siddiqui’s nomination severely weakens the Obama Administration’s credibility in promoting healthier and more sustainable local food systems here at home. His appointment would also send an unfortunate signal to the rest of the world that the United States plans to continue down the failed path of high-input and energy-intensive industrial agriculture by promoting toxic pesticides, inappropriate seed biotechnologies and unfair trade agreements on nations that do not want and can least afford them. Continue reading »
Tags: Agriculture, Barack Obama, Chemicals, Corporations, CropLife America, Department of Agriculture, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Global News, GMO, Government, Islam Siddiqui, Lobbyists, Monsanto, Obama administration, Pedophile, Pesticides, Politics, Religion, Syngenta, toxic, toxicity, U.S., WTO
An atrazine-induced female frog (a genetic male) is shown (bottom) copulating with an unexposed male sibling. This union produced viable eggs and larvae that survived to metamorphosis and adulthood. Yet, because both animals were genetic males, the offspring were all males. (Tyrone Hayes photo)
BERKELEY —Atrazine, one of the world’s most widely used pesticides, wreaks havoc with the sex lives of adult male frogs, emasculating three-quarters of them and turning one in 10 into females, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, biologists.
The 75 percent that are chemically castrated are essentially “dead” because of their inability to reproduce in the wild, reports UC Berkeley’s Tyrone B. Hayes, professor of integrative biology.
“These male frogs are missing testosterone and all the things that testosterone controls, including sperm. So their fertility is as low as 10 percent in some cases, and that is only if we isolate those animals and pair them with females,” he said. “In an environment where they are competing with unexposed animals, they have zero chance of reproducing.”
The 10 percent or more that turn from males into females – something not known to occur under natural conditions in amphibians – can successfully mate with male frogs but, because these females are genetically male, all their offspring are male.
“When we grow these guys up, depending on the family, we will get anywhere from 10 to 50 percent females,” Hayes said. “In a population, the genetically male females can decrease or wipe out a population just because they skew sex ratios so badly.” Continue reading »
The group of investors includes The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation, and the Government of Norway.
The elite has always been known for their altruism, working for the benefit of mankind:
“If you control the oil you control the country; if you control the food you control the population.”
- Henry Kissinger
|The remote, frozen landscape provides an ideal backdrop for the vault|
(BBC NEWS) — Almost 90,000 food crop seed samples have arrived at the “doomsday vault” in the Arctic Circle, as part of its first anniversary celebrations.
The four-tonne shipment takes the number of seeds stored in the frozen repository to more than 20 million.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, built 130m (426ft) inside a mountain, aims to protect the world’s food crop species against natural and human disasters.
The £5m ($7m) facility took 12 months to build and opened in February 2008.
“The vault was opened last year to ensure that, one day, all of humanity’s existing food crop varieties would be safely protected,” explained Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT).
“It’s amazing how far we have come towards accomplishing that goal.”
(Updates with closing grain prices; additional analyst comments)
CHICAGO -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. Department of Agriculture Friday cut its projections for 2008 U.S. corn and soybean production, keeping supplies of the commodities tight and helping lift grain prices.
The reduction in crop size, which was the result of poor growing weather in August, could be the start of a trend, especially because the crops were already lagging developmentally because of delayed planting and spring floods in parts of the Midwest, grain analysts warned.
The USDA estimates U.S. 2008 corn production at 12.072 billion bushels, down 216 million from the agency’s August estimate. The soybean crop is expected to come in at 2.934 billion bushels, down 39 million bushels from last month’s forecast. In both cases, the agency said, weather during August lowered the average yield for each crop, thereby lowering total production.
- Exposed: the great GM crops myth
Companies accused of ‘profiteering’ as they attempt to patent crop genes
Giant biotech companies are privatising the world’s protection against climate change by filing hundreds of monopoly patents on genes that help crops resist it, a new investigation has concluded.
The study – by the authoritative Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC Group), based in Ottawa, Canada – has found that nine firms have filed at least 532 patents around the world on about 55 different genes offering protection against heat, drought and floods. If granted, the companies would be given control of crucial natural raw material needed to maintain food supplies in an increasingly hungry world.
Last week, as world leaders met in Rome to discuss the food crisis, GM companies promoted their technologies as the answer to hunger. On Thursday, Monsanto – the biggest and most controversial firm – announced a “commitment” to increase food production, partly by developing crops that need less water.
“Together we must meet the needs for increased food, fibre and energy, while preserving the environment,” said the company’s head, Hugh Grant. “These commitments represent the beginning of a journey that we will expand on and deepen in the years ahead.”
The ETC Group calls this “an opportunistic public relations strategy”, adding: “Monsanto’s business is selling patented seeds for industrial agriculture – not addressing a humanitarian food crisis.”
The report of its investigation shows that Monsanto and BASF – which last year announced a $1.5bn “collaboration” to develop new GM crops, including “ones more tolerant to adverse environmental conditions such as drought” – have between them filed patents for 27 of the 55 genes. Others had been filed by companies such as Bayer, Syngenta and Dow.
The reports says some of the applications are sweeping. One would cover more than 30 crops from oats to oil palms, triticale to tea, and potatoes to perennial grass – “in other words, virtually all food crops”.
It says the “corporate grab on climate-tolerant genes” means that “a handful of transnational companies are now positioned to determine who gets access to key genetic traits and what price they must pay”.
Small farmers in developing countries will be particularly hard hit by such “climate-change profiteering”. Patenting will make the crops expensive and ensure that poor farmers have to buy them every year, by prohibiting them from saving seeds from one harvest to grow for the next.
According to the report, conventional, non-GM breeding techniques are making remarkable progress in developing crops that can tolerate heat, floods and drought. A new Asian rice, due to go on the market next year, can stand being submerged for two weeks without affecting yields, while a new African one flowers early in the morning, escaping the heat of the day.
But, it says, “the patent grab is sucking up money and resources that could be spent on affordable, farmer-based strategies for survival”.
It concludes: “These patented technologies will ultimately concentrate corporate power, drive up costs, inhibit independent research and further undermine the rights of farmers to save and exchange seeds”.
But Croplife, which represents the world’s plant-science industry, retorts; “Patenting is very important. That is how we protect intellectual property and ensure we continue to bring new innovations to the marketplace.” It denies that biotechnology companies are seeking to monopolise world food supplies. Continue reading »
BONN, May 22 (IPS) – Seeds were once for ever. After harvest, a few from the crop would be planted for the following year, and so it went on.
Now, biochemical industry giants are making seeds themselves infertile. You sow them this year, and that’s it. For next year’s crop, you need brand new seeds — you would have to buy them, of course.
Twenty-five years ago, there were at least 7,000 seed growers worldwide, and none of them controlled more than one percent of the global market. Today, after a takeover spree, 10 major biochemical multinationals, including Monsanto, DuPont-Pioneer, Syngenta, Bayer Cropsciencie, BASF, and Dow Agrosciences, control more than 50 percent of the seeds market.
“The goal of these companies is, of course, to make profits,” Benedict Haerling, researcher at the German non-governmental organisation Future of Agriculture, told IPS. “In order to improve their profits, they all apply one strategy to increase their control of the market: they impose upon farmers worldwide the so-called vertical integration of inputs, from seeds to fertilisers to pesticides, all from one brand.” Compulsory customer loyalty, you might call it.
And through biochemical manipulation, including genetic modifications, many companies have made sure the harvest you obtain cannot be sown again.
Such “vertical integration of agricultural inputs” has transformed agriculture in developing countries into a two-class business, Angelika Hillbeck, researcher on bio-safety and agriculture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich told IPS.
“In the developing countries there is a class of farmers with large plantations and enough money who can afford to buy all inputs from the major biochemical companies, from seeds and fertilisers to pesticides and conservatives.” But there are small farmers for whom the biochemical markets are out of reach.
Hillbeck and Haerling are scientific counsellors to non-governmental organisations and associations of small farmers in developing countries who are attending the UN conference on biological diversity in Bonn.
The conference aims at reviewing international compliance with the targets adopted in 2002 to significantly reduce the rate of decimation of species at the global and national level by 2010. It is also set to formulate binding international rules on legal measures to stop the loss of biodiversity. Continue reading »
We need to overturn food policy, now!
For some time now the rising cost of food all over the world has taken households, governments and the media by storm. The price of wheat has gone up by 130% over the last year. Rice has doubled in price in Asia in the first three months of 2008 alone, and just last week it hit record highs on the Chicago futures market. For most of 2007 the spiralling cost of cooking oil, fruit and vegetables, as well as of dairy and meat, led to a fall in the consumption of these items. From Haiti to Cameroon to Bangladesh, people have been taking to the streets in anger at being unable to afford the food they need. In fear of political turmoil, world leaders have been calling for more food aid, as well as for more funds and technology to boost agricultural production. Cereal exporting countries, meanwhile, are closing their borders to protect their domestic markets, while other countries have been forced into panic buying. Is this a price blip? No. A food shortage? Not that either. We are in a structural meltdown, the direct result of three decades of neoliberal globalisation.
Farmers across the world produced a record 2.3 billion tons of grain in 2007, up 4% on the previous year. Since 1961 the world’s cereal output has tripled, while the population has doubled. Stocks are at their lowest level in 30 years, it’s true, but the bottom line is that there is enough food produced in the world to feed the population. The problem is that it doesn’t get to all of those who need it. Less than half of the world’s grain production is directly eaten by people. Most goes into animal feed and, increasingly, biofuels – massive inflexible industrial chains. In fact, once you look behind the cold curtain of statistics, you realise that something is fundamentally wrong with our food system. We have allowed food to be transformed from something that nourishes people and provides them with secure livelihoods into a commodity for speculation and bargaining. The perverse logic of this system has come to a head. Today it is staring us in the face that this system puts the profits of investors before the food needs of people. Continue reading »
Tags: biofuel, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China, Commodities, Egypt, Food Riots, Food shortages, Government, Grain, Haiti, Hedge Funds, Hunger, IMF, India, Meltdown, Monsanto, Philippines, rice, Robert Zoellick, Syngenta, U.N., Vietnam, Wal-Mart, wheat, World Bank, World Food Programme, WTO
For decades, wheat was king on the Great Plains and prices were low everywhere. Those days are over.
At Stephen Fleishman’s busy Bethesda shop, the era of the 95-cent bagel is coming to an end.
Breaking the dollar barrier “scares me,” said the Bronx-born owner of Bethesda Bagels. But with 100-pound bags of North Dakota flour now above $50 — more than double what they were a few months ago — he sees no alternative to a hefty increase in the price of his signature product, a bagel made by hand in the back of the store.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in 20 years,” he said. “It’s a nightmare.”
Fleishman and his customers are hardly alone. Across America, turmoil in the world wheat markets has sent prices of bread, pasta, noodles, pizza, pastry and bagels skittering upward, bringing protests from consumers.
But underlying this food inflation are changes that are transforming U.S. agriculture and making a return to the long era of cheap wheat products doubtful at best.
Half a continent away, in the North Dakota country that grows the high-quality wheats used in Fleishman’s bagels, many farmers are cutting back on growing wheat in favor of more profitable, less disease-prone corn and soybeans for ethanol refineries and Asian consumers.
“Wheat was king once,” said David Braaten, whose Norwegian immigrant grandparents built their Kindred, N.D., farm around wheat a century ago. “Now I just don’t want to grow it. It’s not a consistent crop.”
In the 1980s, more than half the farm’s acres were wheat. This year only one in 10 will be, and 40 percent will go to soybeans. Braaten and other farmers are considering investing in a $180 million plant to turn the beans into animal feed and cooking oil, both now in strong demand in China. And to stress his hopes for ethanol, his business card shows a sketch of a fuel pump. Continue reading »